The chances are you probably haven’t come across the BlackBerry Curve 9380 much. It was one of those devices announced in a flurry late last year when my attention was on the new BlackBerry Bold 9900. This Curve 9380 is a delightful phone though. It’s particularly suited to anyone in a corporate environment who needs to receive and review email and who wants an unobtrusive and ultra-light smartphone. The 9380 can do everything the bigger devices in RIM’s range can do by default — it’s got all the goodness of BlackBerry 7 (including BlackBerry Protect — RIM’s answer to Find-my-iPhone and the company’s raft of successful ‘super apps’ such as Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Travel).
It just doesn’t have the weight.
And that, I find awesome.
Indeed it’s just 98g. (By contrast the Bold 9900 is 103g and the iPhone 4S is 140g).
It’s predominantly touchscreen with the standard BlackBerry buttons at the bottom plus a few others on the side. The on-screen keyboard is pretty good. As a lover of the Bold’s QWERTY keyboard, it did take some getting used to. Indeed, I spent most of my time reading and deleting emails on the Curve, as apposed to writing long missives. I will often bash out a blog post or two from my Bold — the Curve 9380 isn’t quite the device for that. In fact I’d go so far as to say that no device with a touchscreen keyboard is.
You shouldn’t be expecting miracles from the Curve 9380 of course — not in such a small form factor. There’s a time and a place for a brick sized phone like the Dell Streak.
The Curve 9380 is absolutely perfect for small handbags and suit pockets. The suit pocket test is a good one: Does your smartphone screw up the lines of your tailored suit? The iPhone and the Bold, I’m sorry to say, do add a certain puffiness. The Curve 9380 disappears. I love it. Sometimes you just don’t want to be reminded that you’ve got a smartphone ‘on you’ — whether it’s weekends, evenings, holidays, or even during the business day.
There’s a temptation to assume that everyone should be walking about with a Galaxy Note or the latest-and-greatest HTC One X. Those devices have their place. But if it’s powerful minimalism you’re looking for, the Curve 9380 is — I reckon — peerless.
I don’t think there’s another phone out there today that makes me feel so unencumbered. I think it’s the curves, the lightness, the fact the screen seems to fill the whole phone and the fact it’s got all the BlackBerry power I know and appreciate.
What’s more it’s only £219 PAYG (plus a tenner top-up) from T-Mobile or BlackBerry via Phones4U..